Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, May. 2, 2013
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Commissioner of Probation for Massachusetts Edward J. Dolan

Trial Court leaders name Dolan to head probation

Chief Justice of the Trial Court Robert A. Mulligan and Court Administrator Harry Spence today announced they have selected Edward J. Dolan to serve as the next commissioner of probation for Massachusetts. Dolan currently serves as the commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services where he has held roles of increasing responsibility since 1997. He previously served four years as the executive director of the state Parole Board. He will begin a five-year term of office on June 10, 2013.

"The MBA applauds the court's selection of Dolan to lead the probation department," MBA Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Counsel Martin W. Healy said. "Recent court reform legislation -- creating the position of professionally-trained Court Administrator Harry Spence -- has demonstrated true vision and leadership in moving the court forward on integral court functions like probation, which affects the lives of the commonwealth's citizens."

The probation commissioner heads the Massachusetts Probation Service and the Office of Community Corrections, which have 1,800 staff in more than 100 locations across the state. In conjunction with local, state and federal law enforcement and human services agencies, probation helps to keep communities safe through monitoring, rehabilitative services and the supervision of offenders and litigants. The search was conducted by the nationally-recognized firm of Isaacson Miller in concert with a committee of Massachusetts criminal justice and court leaders.

Dolan joined the DYS as the director of classification in 1997 and was named deputy commissioner in 1998. Previously, he had worked for Massachusetts Half Way Houses Inc., as chief operating officer and at the Mass. Department of Mental Health as a forensic manager. He joined the Massachusetts Parole Board in 1985 as the director of Research, Planning and Systems Development and in 1990 was appointed executive director, a position he held until 1994. In 1979, he joined the staff of Trial Court Chief Administrative Judge Arthur Mason as a court planner and served in that capacity until he began his work at the Parole Board.

Dolan has a master's degree in public administration from Syracuse University and a bachelor's degree in government from UMass Amherst. He is a certified trainer in the area of risk/need assessment and has provided consulting services in areas including organizational and program development, parole decision making and information systems. A resident of Peabody, he regularly speaks at national conferences on criminal justice issues.

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